Friday, July 22, 2016

Heirloom Audio Productions: Beric The Briton Review

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

Recently we got the chance to listen to another Heirloom Audio Productions fantastic audio dramas called Beric the Briton. If you've been around here any length of time, you know a favorite of my kiddo's is audio books. I love listening to them when they are full dramas such as Heirloom produces with the great sound effects, stars voicing the characters and all the action packed excitement that leaves you seeing the book played out in your mind. So, when the opportunity came up to review another one of these great stories from the Adventures of G.A. Henty series, we jumped at it!

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

What we received:
We received the physical CD set of Beric the Briton for our review. We also received the downloadable bonuses that include an MP3, ebook, poster, study guide and so much more! While we didn't work with the guide this time, yet, they are great bonuses to make this study even more fun and educational. We have listened to the CD set several times already as it has become a staple in the car for us.

You can't tell he's excited about this one at all can you ?

How We Used It:
The audio drama covers two CD's and is an exciting Christian radio theater production that offers excitement, drama, action, and a lesson on relying on God. I love these stories and how they always tie into faith and how God can help them get through any of the dangers they faced.

Beric the Briton was a very brave person who faced the Romans in his battles. You'll learn how he spent time with them, learned battle tactics that would one day help them defeat their enemies, and also how he found Christ. He stood up for his faith against all odds and God won the day and Beric found favor in the eyes of the leaders against him.

This is an exciting and adventurous novel that all kids, and adults, will fall in love with. The story is over two hours long and offers lessons grace, faith, and redemption. As all the other Heirloom Products we've listened to, this one is very well done and makes you feel like you're right there facing the lion with Beric. (I won't give toooo much away).

What We Thought:
As always we loved this audio drama production! The recordings are very high quality and you can literally close your eyes and see the action taking place in the car. You'll hear familiar voices in there such as Brian Blessed, John Rhys-Davies, and Brian Cox. These are designed especially for children from the ages of 6 and up, but I'm sure if you're like me,  you're going to love it no matter how old you are.

These are great to keep in the car and share stories of faith and true Christian heroes with your children as your journey around town or on longer road trips. We keep all our G.A. Henty books in the car with us so we always have something great to listen to.

These audio drama productions make for a great addition to your history curriculum for the year or just for exciting novels to have in your collection. You can utilize the study guide, print out the amazing posters, or just use the MP3 to listen to the story in the house or on the go when you don't have the discs with you.

I highly recommend these CD's to anyone who is looking for adventure and excitement on their next trip to town. These are great additions to help your children learn about faith, standing up for Christ, and the history of the world.

Be sure to check out the other Crew Members adventures and also check out Heirloom Audio Productions on social media with the links and banners below.

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 11, 2016

ArtAchieve : Level 2

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
Recently we were able to review a new art curriculum from ArtAchieve. We reviewed the Entire Level II program and were really enjoying this one. It has been quite fun and very interesting to work with. This program is designed for a variety of ages and skill levels. It is a fun online curriculum with your very own art instructor in your home. There are many lessons to choose from and we worked with the Level II program during our review period.
Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

What we received:
We received access to the entire Level II program of art classes. There are 15 different art lessons in this level and they vary on the lessons and the particular skills that are used. I allowed Boo Bear to pick out his favorite ones to work with first. Of course he picked the animals, not hard to believe there. (he's a total animal lover).

How it works:
One day a week we would work on a lesson from the site. He signed into the ArtAchieve website and picked out a lesson to work on. The lessons give you lists of items you need to gather before working on the project. Typically there were two sheets to print out for him to do practice with during the first part of the lesson before doing the actual drawing of the particular item he chose.

(overlook the messy bed hair and mess around him. He has to have his transformers hang during school)

We worked on a several of the projects including the Japanese Goldfish and the Elephant from Ghana. Here's his Elephant he drew through the program.

This program offers more than just the instruction in art. There are also links included to help you learn more about the art project you're working on. It helps to incorporate social studies, language arts, and even science throughout your art experiences. It is great that it allows you to explore more than just how to draw a certain way or with a specific technique.

There are two ways you can do the program. One is to go through it with PowerPoint slides or you can choose the method we chose, which is to watch the tutorial videos with the instructor.

What we thought:
Boo Bear seemed to really enjoy working with the art curriculum on his own. He'd set up his computer for a lesson and would go through it fairly easily without any extra help. I enjoyed the fact that he could learn not only the techniques for the art itself, but also a little bit of history about the culture from where this idea came from.

This is a great program to do with one or more students and even you might want to get in on the fun. There's also a way to post your student's work and create their own gallery on the site. You can take a look at others works as well which can always be inspiring.

My kiddo definitely got his talent from his daddy and Mama doesn't have any drawing talent. I am glad to work with programs such as this one that allows him to work with his talent he has and push it to the next level.

Another great aspect of the lessons is that you can purchase them individually or you can save and purchase access to all the lessons for one year. There are also easy to find lists of supplies for each level and you'll find three different levels to choose from.

I think you should definitely check out the program for the art lovers in your family or just those who want to add art to their homeschool. Click the social media links below to find out more about the program and the banner below to see the other levels the Crew worked on!

Google +

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Laurelwood Books: State the Facts : A Guide To Studying Your State

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
Recently we reviewed the Laurelwood Books product called State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State. Thankfully this went right along with our history program we were already doing this year. We have been studying Florida history, as that's our state, so we were able to implement this in as a review of sorts for our history program. It has been an amazing and fun study that has allowed us to learn even more about our state than first imagined.

What we received:
We received the physical copy of the book for our use. This is a consumable workbook that have over 50 pages of exciting facts and figures to learn about your state. The great thing about it? It can be tailored to whatever state you're currently living in or that you want to learn about!!

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
Laurelwood Books is a great online store that offers a variety of products for you to choose from. This is one of their Little Yellow Book study guides that makes learning your state history fun and exciting.

What we did:
In the beginning of your book you'll find a guide on how to use this book and suggestions of what to do with each section. You can start easily by finding specific addresses and putting them in your book for your local government offices, senators and more!

You'll even find scripts in their to help your child call the local congressman office to get some information on the process of being elected and perhaps the special projects that specific senator or elected official is working on at the moment. This can be a fun way for you and your child to make contact and learn how the government processes work.

Of course you'll go over the state flag for you specific state, the statehood dates and how it became a state. You will also research the history of your state, inventions that made your state famous and learn about the people who came from your state.

Another fun page we enjoyed was learning about the specific area we live in. These questions include the area zoos, learning what an arboretum is, and even gathering information on planning a trip to a local place nearby.

What we thought:This book is a fun addition and easy way to help your homeschool learn about the state history in your state or you can pick one you want to learn. You can discover and record all the facts that you learn about your state of choice including the state bird, flower, tree, and even the weather.

We enjoyed learning all the facts of our state and how it became the sunshine state it is today. You'll find a lot of helpful information in the book as well including a list of all the presidents, maps of the country, and even the ability to write down your law if you were to create one.

I highly recommend trying this program out if you're looking for a way to add in state history to your homeschool program and want an inexpensive fun way to do this. This book is easy to use for any state of your choice and you could do multiple states. You could even have a book for each state of the country if you want!

Check them out on social media below and also click the banner to see how the Crew used their other products!


Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 : My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) Review Review
Recently I received the product called My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) for review. I received an annual membership to their online planning and record keeping program. This program consists of a variety of amazing features that make it easy to keep all your homeschool organization and planning in one place. You can even access it on the go from your phone or tablet to see just what needs to be done while you're on the road!

What we received:
I received full online access to their annual membership for their lesson planning website. In this program you can keep track of your entire homeschool year, all in one convenient place. You can see your attendance, plan lessons for the year, and track grades all in one place. It goes with you wherever you go so that you can easily keep track of homeschool plans on the road as well.

How it works:
This online planning program works very simply and easy. You will create your student's information and start lesson planning or tracking attendance right away. It doesn't take long once you have your student set up to get the planning part going. There's even a Teacher's Aid! Yes, you read that right! The teacher's aid helps you through the system and will remind you what you need to get done each day. There are emails that come to you to help you know when to mark items completed, if you need to move them to a different date or if you're still working on the project at hand.

You can even create reports for your homeschool portfolio or records if you like. You can create transcripts for your high schooler, print out a report card for the year or even just the semester, keep track of all their awards they've earned and so much more!

Ok so tell me I'm not alone here. At the beginning of the school year I set out these lovely step by step plans. We'll have this amount of lessons finished by our Christmas break and everything will run smoothly with no cause for fuss or muss, right? Well, inevitably something always happens. Someone gets sick or we have a lot of running to do or whatever. In that case the lessons always get shifted around. I wish I just could click a button and reschedule the lessons, shift them to a different part of the week. And now you can!! They have a lesson rescheduler that you can use to shift lessons forward so that you can complete them on different days.

How I Used It:
I put in Boo Bear's extra curricular activities that I know we plan on participating for this year. Mainly I used that section so I can have a reminder of when to sign up for these classes and check on the schedule they will put out. I also used it to set up our school year starting in this August as we're finishing up our studies now for the 4th grade.

Set up is quite simple and takes only a few minutes to get going. I have him set up and the emails registered to remind each day of tasks that should be taken care of. I will be inputting more of his class schedule for the upcoming year but I used it for our current finishing up of math. It's very simple to see the schedule we have laid out in front of us and to move days forward if we got sidetracked with all the fun summer time activities available.

What I Thought:
This is a fabulous resource for the homeschool Mom who likes to plan on the computer and have everything at her fingertips. You can also print out reports and transcripts too if you like to have hardcopies of the items your using. I love the reading lists they provide, the ease of use of the system, and the amazing features it offers. There's really something awesome in here for every grade level you can imagine. From reading lists for your little one to the transcripts and report cards for the older children, you will have everything you need right at your fingertips.

You can easily generate lesson plans with the generator and shift things around when life interferes. You can also set it up to automatically track attendance by the lessons you complete or whatever method you wish it to take. You can also manually track attendance should you wish to do that as well.

I would recommend this product to anyone who wants to keep everything all in one place for easy access and use. You'll love the easy at a glance report features, lesson plan copying features for repeated lessons, and so much more! There's really an amazing amount of features and ideas to use for this program to make it work for your homeschool organization.

Don't just take my word for it! Check out the other Crew Members thoughts by clicking on the banner below. You can also check out My School Year on social media with the links below.

Homeschool Record Keeping { Review}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Menu Plan: June Week Three

Howdy!! How are you all doing this week? This is a little bit behind, but better late than never, right?

So I'm doing a THM update this week and sharing our menu plan for the week. I'm finding it much, much easier if I plan out a menu and have it all ready to go than if I just try to buy random ingredients. I mean really.. Random ingredients gets me into all kinds of trouble!!

So for an update on how I'm doing... I've lost another pound! Wahoo! I know, I know.. A pound doesn't seem like a whole lot but guess what... I used to think that too. I saw something the other day that really hit home with me. Instead of saying I ONLY lost a pound... I'm saying Wahoo! I lost a pound :). Why? Because if all I lose is a pound a week for the next year, that's 52 whole pounds gone in a year!!! So no more downing myself if I "only" lose a pound or not even a pound in a week's time. This is a lifelong journey to health. This is not a diet. Ya know?

So anywho!!! I'm finding things to be a little easier as I move through the weeks. We've been on THM, Trim Healthy Mama, for about two months now. I on plan more than my hubby or kiddo. They eat what I fix and of course we tweak it for them. For example, last night I made Philly Cheesesteak in a bowl and they had theirs on bread. I'm also learning how to give myself grace. This past weekend was my son's play weekend. We were on the go constantly for dinner. Thankfully I could get a salad one night and the other night where it was a hit or miss, I gave myself grace. That's what this is all about. Food freedom and grace!!

Now we can get to the meal plan for this week. As I mentioned I made Philly Cheese in a bowl last night so that was on the plan. I have some other fun stuff planned for this week and some different things too. I have about a month or more menu plans together now so I am getting to where I can go pull things I know we like and add in a new recipe once a week or so. It helps me to get things in a rotation and also to know what we like and what we might want to skip over.

Here's the plan for this week:

Philly in a Bowl
Cheeseburger Quesadilla from Pinterest - S
Taco Soup -E with baked Tostitos
Flounder - (not sure how I'm cooking it yet)
Grilled Porkchops and Italian Sausage

I'm also trying to figure out how to do this on a tighter budget. I have about the same grocery bill every week now and I'd love to see it drop a little (or a lot). Let's face it. Groceries are expensive so anyway we can cut down on it, I'm all for it :)

I can say that menu planning such as this does seem to keep my budget about the same for each week. That part is nice because I know how much I'm going to spend before I get there. I am going to try going to Aldi's more. They are building one closer to my home but I have one a little farther away that I do enjoy going to. It is much cheaper on some of the THM things so I'm going to see if I can do it there or if Wal-Mart is where we're stuck :).

What's on your menu for the week? Any yummy recipes I should try out? Let me know!!!

LearnBop: LearnBop for Families Review

LearnBop for Families Review
Recently we received the opportunity to check out a new math program online called LearnBop. The program we reviewed was the LearnBop for Families program that is an online math tutor program. The program is designed to help families who need a little extra practice in math or for classrooms as well. You can use the program at home on the computer or even on the go with a tablet, like we do so very often.

LearnBop for Families Review
What we received:
We received the 12-month subscription to the online math program for the review. The program is based on teaching videos and "bops" that are completed after the videos are watched and the lesson taught. You'll receive access to a parents page where you can keep up with your children's progress and they have a sign-in for their own page to do the work.

Here's a shot of what my screen looks like for Mom's page.

It shows me a variety of things on the sign in page such as how much he has worked on lessons, where he is at in completing the process and how much time was spent working on the concepts. It also allows me the option to see where he's at on his roadmap.

The program is available for one child or multiple children so you can easily see all your children's progress at once.

Once Boo Bear signs in to his page, he will see the concept he is currently working on at the very beginning. He can then complete a bop and work on mastering the concept. He concept has a certain mastery level that must be reached before moving to the next concept. So he can work to just the mastery level, for example 90% , or he can work until he's got 100% if he wants to. Some of these concepts for fourth grade were pushing his limits a little but that is good. (At least to mama it is)

How we used it:
We would sign in on our laptop for Boo Bear to work on a bop or two at a time. If some of the concepts were a little harder, then we would maybe do one video and a bop to work on it a little at a time. For example, the lesson he worked on has around three videos to watch where he is taught the concept in the lesson he's working on. There are extra videos if he's not sure he completely understands it. Once he's watched them he works on the bop which reiterates the lesson he just worked on.

It shows him his progress along the bottom of the screen, how far he has to go and also he earns rewards throughout the tutoring to encourage him to keep bopping along.

We would work on this a couple times a week to go over our math curriculum we were learning. It helps to reiterate the concepts we were learning in our math program and to also touch over concepts that he has struggled with in the past.

The great thing is mom, dad, or even college age kids can use this program as well. There's math tutoring assistance for all areas of math including geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry and more areas!!

What we thought:
The concepts were pushing Boo Bear to really think in some of the bops so I really liked that. He wasn't sure at first because he to think but once he grasped it, he was excited! It's always great to see that lightbulb of "getting it" come on.

I liked that I can see his progress and that he's not the only one learning as we go through the videos and the questions. I like also that it can go with us as we need to take school on the road a lot. You can sign in on a tablet and take LearnBop with you where you need it to go.

I highly recommend checking this program out if you're searching for a program that can help tutor your math students, or even tutor you in concepts you're having trouble with. You can use it for a variety of math helps and to work through troubling concepts.

Check the program and company out on their social media links below. Don't forget to also check out the other Crew Members thoughts by clicking the banner below.


LearnBop for Families Review

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Progeny Press: Mr. Popper's Penguins E-Guide Review

Recently we received the opportunity to review the Progeny Press E-Guide for Mr. Popper's Penguins. This is one of our favorite stories so we were excited to get the opportunity to check it out. Progeny Press is an amazing family owned and operated company that provides a variety of study guides, e-guides, and more to go in depth with all your favorite books.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

What we received: We received the downloadable study E-guide for Mr. Popper's Penguins. We already had the book on our kindle so this was not something else we had to grab. You can easily purchase this from the Progeny Press or possibly find it at your local library, depending on the book guide you choose.

The study guide can be printed off all at once, or you can print off what you need as you're working on it. This is the approach we usually take and did with this one.

The guide contains a ton of information for your fun and further knowledge of the book you're reading. To start off with you'll get some great background information on the setting of where the book took place and what life was like in the ages of the book when it was written.

There are also ideas to do before you settle into reading the book. In ours those included ideas of researching the poles, the penguins we would read about, and also watching videos on the areas where penguins live.

How it works:
With the E-guide we would print off the section that we were going to be working on for the day. That usually was a few chapters at a time for the paperwork. When we were reading it we may finish a section or it may take us a few days to get it completed. The guide contains a variety of exciting questions and tidbits of information to help you learn more about the story along the way. Basically each section covers a few of the chapters in the book. You'll find questions about the chapters you just read and so much more to do!

For example, the questions may direct your child, or even you, to learn new vocabulary words that were used in the books or prompt you to think more in depth about what you just read. There are also activities sprinkled throughout such as the first one we did where we were to find the four places Mr. Popper wanted to go on a globe or map. There are even some science projects throughout the guide to help you learn even more about the book and story you're reading.

These guides are chock full of information to cover a wide range of subjects and topics within your chosen book you're focusing on. One of our favorite things to do was the games that would come up after our reading. One of those happened to be the Papa Penguin shuffle. Needless to say, trying to walk like a papa penguin is not as easy as one might think!

What we thought:
This was our second time using Progeny Press and we were enjoying this one as much as the last one. They have a variety of stories to choose from and all grade ranges are available. This on is considered Upper Elementary grades, 4th-6th, and they also have books in the lower elementary, middle and high school levels.

Another thing we love about these guides is that they are faith based homeschool curriculum items. There are scripture passages and characteristic studies in our e-guide that relate to the character in the book and how we should act as Christians. These book study programs are great to work with for all ages and are a fun and exciting way to get into a new book. We highly recommend these to all homeschool families or even co-ops that are doing a book club. It's a fun and exciting way to learn more about the book you're reading!

Learn more about the other options available and the other Crew members experiences by clicking the banner below. You can also link up with Progeny Press by clicking one of the links you see listed.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

Crew Disclaimer